tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC December 28, 2010 12:00pm-1:00pm EST
good tuesday, everybody. i'm contessa brewer covering the big news from coast to coast. right now on msnbc we're following breaking news out in maine where there are skiers stuck up on sugarloaf mountain. there has been a derailment there where it look s like the wind may have knocked some of the cars off the railing. sugarloaf calls the accident a big deal. they're trying to get the stranded skiers off the lift. it looks like eight people have already been hurt, although, they appear to be minor injuries, and the ski patrol is on the site assessing the damage.
those who are still stuck now in the town of gray, maine, are facing cold temperatures right now and wind gusts, consistent wind gusts. we want to get to nick walker about what the folks are facing, especially the folks who are stuck higher up on the elevations. they're high up, nick, and now they're stuck on the chairs as well. >> that's right. we have a current windchill at sugarloaf of 6 below zero. a temperature of only 13 degrees. now, the closest wind gust we can find in the area -- we're seeing the wind gusts anywhere from 25 and 45 miles an hour, and that would be, you know, well within tropical force. the good news if at all is the snow has been very light. however, the wind gusts we find show there could be gusts
estimated of up to 60 miles an hour. and, of course, that would be a wind gust that could cause some damage. so continuing to key an eye on this area. of course, we don't have a direct wind gust in this area. nevertheless, windy enough to cause problems. as we mentioned already, cold, cold temperaturings there for the folks who have been affected by this incident. >> i mentioned gray, maine. that's not where the ski lift is. that's the nearest reporting station. >> exactly. >> this is in care a bassett valley, maine. nick, i know you're keeping close tabs on the weather and what it's doing there. we'll check back in with you. very cold, as you might imagine. and now you've got, i'm sure, anxious families about the folks who may be stuck on the ski lifts. a lot of people keep their cell phones in their pockets and they may be keeping in contact with their family. let me bring in greg. i used to live in maine.
sugarloaf is one of those destination ski resorts for mainers. >> yes, it is. the people who make it up there -- because it's a little bit of a has toll get up there. they're hard core skiers. it's a very locals mountain that way. >> all right. give me a sense, if you have any experience here. when a chair derails from the lift, and we've got minor injuries here, eight, how is everybody else? do they get the sensation they're about to fall themselves? >> what the ski resort is probably doing is -- communication is key in in a situation like this. they're letting people know what they think the evac time will be, and if it's going to be an extended period they may be trying to get warm clothing or blankets up to them. what they typically do is try to evac the people that are highest
first. they literally use climbing gear, put people in harnesses, and lower them down. >> they would be expected to kind of repel down from the chairs. >> that's right. it's standard practice to do that. the ski patrol is very well trained and they're trained all year-round in evacs to handle situations like this. again, the first thing they to is keep in kuhn indication with the people stranded so they know what's expected, how long it might be, and that someone is working to help them. that's the first thing, it's to reassure people that help is on the way. i don't know what section was derailed. unless it was in a thick forest, they can look up and behind them on what's happening. i'm sure the ski patrol is lining the lift line right now. >> this is the east chair lift from sugarloaf mountain. we've been showing pictures of the mountain. do you have any idea how high this mountain is or whether this
particular lift services, say, black diamond runs? >> well, typically what the lifts services doesn't really relate to the seat of the lift. and most lifts really graduate dramatically in height. i don't know this particular lift line. what probably happened with the high winds and the storms that right now are hitting the whole east coast is that a high wind gust probably derailed the cable. now, that can complicate evac situations because if the wind was, in fact, strong enough to derail a cable on a lift, it's going to complicate the evac so people can go up there and bring the people down. so the wind and the cold, i am guessing, is more of a concern right now than the chairs actually falling or reversing and going downhill. that doesn't happen. there's a breaking mechanism in place that will stop the chairs from moving. >> greg, i want to mention, too, that the viewers are going to see a couple of things.
you've got the map of maine. on the left you're seeing the ski video we have. this is all file footage. it's not taken during the most recent storm. what you're seeing is an illustration of the ski lift. it's not an actual representation of what's being seen there today. you've about got the ski patrol on standby. how essential or crucial will local authorities be, firefighters, ems, things like that? >> i'm sure they mobilize everybody there. they're very well trained in evacs, in evacuations of the lifts. that's why they're there. they're trained in that specific activity. they may have a mountain rescue crew who's trained in evac. they're probably mobilizing. the biggest concern is the wind beth in complicating and hampering the evacuation activities and in the windchill.
some people were perhaps not dressed for the mountain and it's pretty darn cold. the ambient temperature in maine is usually pretty low at this time of year. >> again, what we're getting is the wind is gusting up to 0 miles an hour. i'm even seeing an estimate that they could have gusts of up to 60 miles an hour at the mountaintop level. again, that's what it's going to mack the windchill, what it feels like, about six below zero. greg, thanks for the coverage on this. in the meantime, a lot of other breaking news to get you caught up with. across the country flights are resuming slowly. trains back on track. drivers on the road again. but that storm brought so much to a standstill and problems still across the board. schedules have been disrupted. >> whether it's planes, trains -- >> everyone is delayed anyway, so i have to wait until sometime later in the week. >> -- or automobiles --
>> stuck. it's the baddest it was that i've ever seen in my life. >> -- getting in, out, anywhere, an exercise in futility. new thousands of passengers grounded by the storm need to get to the west coast from the east coast and just about everywhere in between. >> now i can't get out until friday. >> and laguardia, stranded passengers got good news when a runway opened up late yesterday afternoon, but planes still had to be de-iced. >> you hear the weatherman say that the blizzard is over, but for us it suspect. >> it will take days for airlines to make up for the backlog that began on christmas. >> we're going to do everything we can to make our vacation happen, but mother nature. she's in charge. >> who's in charge here? >> oh, my god. >> many of new york city's streets are still a mess and one plow was caught on camera smashing a parked suv in brooklyn. >> are you out of your mind?
>> officials call it unfortunate but not unusual. >> it's clear now but nowhere to drive. >> that's an understatement. let's go to laguardia. eric fisher is standing by. yesterday, nobody was behind you. now, today, a different story. >> i found a few friends, contessa. it's much busier. you heard bad weather news. this is a little good weather news. if you look down the way, certainly many, many more people than we saw in the last 24 hours. you also notice the sun shining on a lot of their faces. the weather is improving here and they're going to start to get things back to normal. however, i don't want to say it's all good news around here because even though they're on the right track, it's going to be a while before things are back to usual. there are a hundred cancellations already today. we've also seen some pretty monster delays at times. we're talking four to eight
hours dperjsding where you're at. so today will not be a normal operations day. however, as we get into tomorrow, the delays will become fewer. and by thursday and friday, airport officials say they should be back on a normal schedule. of course, that's of little solace for some folks who have been trapped since saturday. as a matter of fact, they house fourth degree 50 people in the terminal last night. new york port authority gave them blankets, cots, food, and water, but i think a lot of them are missing their beds at home. >> nothing like a cot when you just want to be in your own warm bed or at least in a hotel room. eric, thank you. >> if you're one of many who is stuck at the airport or stuck at home, wondering if you should go to the airport, it's hard to know the best plan of action. tom is a travel guru. look at you. you're in the spirit of the season with your hawaiian shirt. let me ask you. today there's a problem.
jetblue, fight flights and two have been canceled since 7:00 a.m. what do you do? >> here's the thing. right now you have the trifecta. snow, ice, and wind. the airlines were also smart this year to pull the planes out of new york. you saw what happened with that tractor and the suv. well, they don't want that to happen with the runways either. they pulled the planes out. they're slowly getting back to normal. the best thing to do is stay right where you're at, if you're at a hotel or something. make sure you get a confirmed reservation if your flight has been canceled. if your flight has been rescheduled, i think you're going to be fine. just don't mess up and get to the airport late because tre are a ton of people trying to get into those seats. you don't want to mess up if you're trying to get to the northeast corner. just get. there i'd rather see you spin your thumbs for an extra hour and feel comfortable.
>> that's exactly what i told my mom this morning. she said she got to her gate and they said, oh, the runway is not clear. she was wondering why it hadn't been figured out. i told her to stay put because her flight is leaving. if you're one of those people who got bumped saturday, sunday, yesterday, what's the best way to go about getting a confirmed seat on a flight? is it to go to the counter? is it to call? is it to go online? >> no. i'd stay atway from the airports altogether. there will be some people on standby. i guess the best answer is try to get through with the phone lines. a lot of parents havedown sized. i know three different airlines we called say call back later. if you do get on the line, you do wait for hours. but you have to get a confirmed seat before yu head out. i'm in dallas. most of the flights heading up
north were on time today. there was one flight cancelled. if you say i can't leave friday or saturday, remember, force major. you can call the airlines and say i'm not going to go, cancer your flight and get 100% of your money back. this holiday season we've seen no, san francisco, in the $500, $600 range. you could say, forget it. i'm not going to go. >> yeah. exactly. use the money toward the spring sales that always happen. >> tom, thank you. appreciate the bait. >> all right. >> this is made difficult. this was the view greeted bymy yesterday when i got home. a plow blocked the street. a sanitation worker told me it
broke a gas line and leaked fuel all over the city. the streets were made unplowed. i mean here's my neighborhood and there i am on the sidewalk as of the wee hours of the morning i'm watching some guy dig out one of these cars. the good news is there was a lot of people who shoveled sidewalks and you could get through at least in that one spot. okay. so i showed you my pictures. i want to see yourself as well. firstname.lastname@example.org. out west, the big issue is rain. parts of southern california trying to brace from last week's washout. we have aerial images from the main highways in california to big bear. big bear is the ski resort. the road ims -- apparently we don't have the tape. it's closed indefinitely because storms closed out big portions
of the road. people may not be able to get down. people were trying to get there for the new year. they can't get up. that's a problem. things aren't so hot in florida either. another arctic front is threatening crops. temperatures were in the 20s and 30s this morning. and this is the third big freeze this month. this could cost florida agricultures industry $275 million. we're going to keep our eye on it. a political dynasty coming to an end after more than 60 years. plus, nothing like settling scores the old-fashioned way. seven years ago, i had this idea. to make baby food the way moms would.
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eight homeless people were killed in a fire at an abandoned warehouse in new orleans. fire officials say they were burning wood in a barrel to keep warm on an unusually cold night. temperatures were below freezing. two people survived the fire. when the new congress is sworn in next week it will mark the end of an era for one of the most powerful and storied political families. for your the first time in 63 years there will be no kennedys serving in elected office in washington. good to see you today, richard. >> glad to be here. >> so patrick kennedy is leaving his u.s. house seat as congressman there. he's the last of those who were serving in washington, d.c. what do you make of this? >> well, the kennedys have strolled through li.
they've been either as a sim poll of one of these great forces shaping our history or as actually hi one of the representatives. whether it's a force of immigration. you think of the irish family moving over to america, a grandfather who became the mayor of boston. if you think of world war two, you think of jack kennedy and of course the pt 109. if you think of the cold war you think of john kennedy going m o mano/mano. throughout the history in the last 100 years there's been a kennedy family. the thought that there's not a kennedy in congress it's a little bit shocking. you step back and think, wow, this is the end of an era. >> patrick kennedy said, quote, in my family the legacy was also public service and that didn't always mean public office, and yet it did seem there was always a kennedy in the spotlight. i mean there is still one
kennedy in politics. bobby shriver is a city counselor in santa monica. he says politics isn't the only way to make a difference. he said his mother eunice shriver may have changed the world to a far greater degree than any of the elected kennedys. >> i've heard that quote before, and i thought, okay, well, we've thought about his mother. we all have mothers. my mother is watching. we all want to say very nice things about our mother. that's an overstatement. >> who would you give -- >> but still, look. you don't have to be in elected office. robert kennedy's son who has been a leader in environmental sun has shown that. we do that because that was the big grand ambition of joseph kennedy, the pay tree yar.
. he wanted to be the president. he couldn't. he groomd his son. he got killed. he groomed his next son, on down the line. >> we'll watch to see if ted kennedy's vicky could be a competitor to scott brown. keeping an eye on him who's been instrument tall in public service in massachusetts. thanks so much for your time today, richard. appreciate it. >> thank you. a lot of people are talking about nfl michael vick's amazing comeback, including the president. and one of the hot searches on google right now and i'm happy to counter the rumors, aretha franklin is very much alive. some losers started a twitter hoax that the queen of soul has died. she's reportedly doing well. have some r-e-s-p-e-c-t, folks.
we're told she's indescribely happy. she's up for a golden globe. she's really happy about having a baby with the man who plays her dance partner in the film. he's a principal dancer and a core grafer in the city ballet and the couple are engaged to be maired. a dallas pastor pulls a grinch. she was arrested for breaking into her parishioner's home and stealing her stuff on christmas eve, but pastor mcgriff on church of the living god told the morning news she was just protecting her friend's stuff. >> when i walked around her house, i saw that the window was broke. my mistake was i did not call 911, and i went through the window. >> well, she says she collected the homeowner's laptop, the fur coats, the designer bags to protect them from any would-be
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for killing five teenagers in a hotel room. a housekeeper called 911 when she spotted the boys through the window. another teen had been to a birthday party in the room earlier said the teens left the car running in a closed garage beneath the room because they were worried about it starting this mornling. a trucker was allegedly driving drunk when he crashed head on and killed two others. police say he was driving the wrong way on interstate 07 for as many as nine miles before the crash. he's now charged with vehicular homicide and dui. rescuers found four lost
women while snow shoeing in the washington state. they spend 24 hours on the pass. they got off the trail, used a cell phone, stayed in contact with the search crews. the snow sheuers were dressed appropriately and they had food and water so they were in good shape. the big snow and the big city mayor is called on the carpet for not getting everything cleared up right away. do folks expect too much,'ve for the nation's larger city? plus a new year and a new network for oprah winfrey. her own. to stay fit, you might also want to try lifting one of these. a unique sea salt added to over 40 campbell's condensed soups. helps us reduce sodium, but not flavor. so do a few lifts. campbell's.® it's amazing what soup can do.™ [ gorilla ] nice move. but can your retirement income keep pace
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getting back to normal service will take some time. steve coleman is port authority spokeman which manages the airports in the new york city area. all right. tell me how it's going out there? >> i think given the circumstances it's going quite well this morning. all the airports are open. we have at least one runway open at each of the airports. we're seeing significant numbers of arrivals and departures, but we're also seeing a significant number of cancellations. so things are not really back to normal yet, but we're hoping on to get there in the next day or so. >> when you're looking at laguardia, jfk, and newark airports now, in some places where they're open and as you mentioned the runways are cleared, but you've got this whole backlog. anybody who's flown in and out of these airports know it's busy so how do you try to accommodate all the passengers? >> i don't think it's a
condition of accommodating additional flights. i thinking it's an issue of trying to fill every single flight on every single seat with those who got bumped and that's probably going to take days to settle itself down. >> and, steve, at this point, how honk do you think it's going to be until you don't have passengers sleeping on cots in these airports? >> we're hoping by the end of the week we have passengers on planes going to their finally destinations. but obviously it's the function of the airlines to make sure they have seats for them. >> steve coleman, thanks for joining us. appreciate that. in new york city people are still trying to degree out their cars, some are trying to dig out their streets. we saw a lot of problems because drivers could not navigate in these mountains of snow and so they just left their cars in the middle of the road. here's a picture that got tweeted out by nbc news yesterday. a lot of people were complaining
they just haven't seen enough snowplows, they're too big in between. one city official blasted mayor bloomberg on facebook. our side streets haven't seen one plow all day. stop telling manhattan to go see a prodway play and get the ower boroughs plowed now and then give us the fell explanation we deserve as to why we're forgotten. you're really upset about this. what's the problem? >> well, the office was closed yesterday, so i was inundated on facebook with complaints. we've seen a bunch of bad storms in queens. the side streets were untouched. as public safety chair it's dangerous situation to have to be in. >> could it just be -- i'm playing devil's advocate here. this is a massive city with a lot of -- i mean you have thousands of miles of roads in
new york city and its boroughs. aren't all hands on deck? i mean don't they have every person called to duty in snowplows as it stands? >> this is the problem. the mayor isn't giving us any answers. has to stop sounding like baghdad bob. you're saying this storm is the past. we have never seen a plow. did they go to different boro h boroughs? do they not exist? they didn't come. >> let me play what mayor bloomberg is saying about new york city. >> it's a bad situation and we're working together to correct it. until we can pull out to the ambulances, pull out the fire trucks, pull out the buses, pull out the private cars, the plows just can't do anything. >> i will say i went out this morning at 4:00 in the morning and saw a plow driving down my street with its plow up. it wasn't plowing at this point. at what point do you try to get answers? and it doesn't just affect new
york city. we have thousands of tourists stuck here or people were supposed to come to new york city and couldn't get in. >> no one can deny we did not see them. we're going to hold hearings in january. we're going to hold hearings of my public safety economy tee and others and have the heads be put under oath and be held accountable. >> new york city is one that got walloped. councilman, good to see you. thank you for coming in. >> thanks for having me. a couple trying to get to the hospital ended up welcoming their new baby boy in their suv. they were on their way from jersey city to livingston, new jersey, but were stopped. they had clogged roadways, a wrong turn. today the proud papa joins me by phone. what was that experience like for you? >> it was pretty -- it was pretty miraculous.
it was wonderful. it was magical. in fact, i think my son being born in our vehicle in a matter of minutes, and so my wife he would say i'm about to have a baby, i'm about to have a baby, i'm like, yeah, of course, we're about to have this baby today, but little did i know when i turned the corner, he came out. >> so as i understand, frederick, your 5-year-old son was in the car and you got a little help from some detectives. what happened? how did that all come about. >> well, he was in the car but he was asleep. we're in the car now trying to get to the hospital but he said he was relaxing with his eyes closed. he was in the car, and so we turned the corner, and when i
noticed the baby in her hands, i thought, oh, my god, i pulled over. i thought she was literally joking. i waved my hands, jumped out of the car. it was really nice. the people next to me pulled over. they said what's wrong, what's wrong. i said we just had a baby. we were literally 200 feet from a policeman which he was on the corner and i was off the corner, and someone in the car in front of me ran and got the policeman. >> so you have a 6 pound, 10-ounce baby boy. what's his name. >> his name is daniel christopher -- i'm sorry. my son is -- >> that's okay. >> you know what? children tend to know best when they're trying to explain to their parent as what to say on national television, i'm sure. frederick, congratulations to the family and we're glad everything came out okay. >> yeah, thank you. >> we have breaking news coming
to us right now from maine where sugarloaf mountain is experiencing a big emergency. they had a ski lift derail, and some eight injuries. apparently they're minor, but we've just had these pictures that were sent in to us here at nbc news of the ski lift that now is a problem and now the ski patrol is working to get everybody el who's on the chair lift off. and then, of course, they've got to evacuate the folks who were on the chair lift when it derail and injured themselves. we're watching the progress. these are brand-new pictures from sugarloaf. this is carrabassett valley, maine, where even the spokesperson for maine says this is a big deal. they're trying to evacuate people off the chair lift. the wind gusts estimated to be up to 60 miles an hour, and the windchill for the folks who are out there, either stuck or working in this, about 6 below
zero, windchill right now. the work very dangerous. we'll keep you up to date as the new information comes in. next week the president is about to announce a new key player. he's replacing a tough economic adviser to replace larry summers. the new adviser will inform nearly every move the president makes on the economy. nbc's mike viqueira is in honolulu. the president is there getting r & r with his family. again, big changes when he returned to washington, d.c., mike. >> that's right. we knew he was going to be stepping aside. this was announced a while ago. he was actually supposed to be gone by now, contessa, but the president asked him to stay an extra two weeks. he was supposed to leave on the 15th of the month. this is a top position. there's expected to be a renewed focus from the president on the economy, on jobs, on education, on job training into the new
year. it's been a long time coming and obviously still a problem for the 15 million people out of work. a 9.8% unemployment rate. roger altman now an investment banker, richard bleven is the president of yale university. gene sperling, another former clinton economic team member and adviser to sumner right now and jason furman. that announcement expected. >> have a great tuesday, mike. >> you too. >> the govnment has a prize for you. if you can beat your competition. it's thanks to the reauthorization of the american compete act. they can now run competitions and there are a bunch up on challenge.gov right now. slate.com took a look at some of the competitions.
the practice of canning foods was started by napoleon who want add better way to preserve food for his army and it was a cash reward that got charles lindbergh to take a transatlantic flight. now the government returns to the days where it tries to get people to innovate in order to get a prize. tell me about how widespread this program is. >> well, you're right, contessa. and what this program will do is it authorizes congress to spend $45 million on science, technology, math, education and a lot on the concepts. one contest right now is focusing on green technology, getting us off foreign foss aisle fuels. those are the types of technology they're looking to innocent faiz here. remember, this authorizes it. it does not spend the money. there might be battles about
whether it gets funded. >> what about the elf prize. this would be a way to come up with a way to replace the common light bulb. it opens it up not just to government scientists but even someone in his garage. >> that's right. they even trying to incentivize group teams. if you look at past inferences, the laser beam. the government spent tens of thousands on that and they insenty faized that. but now we have have laser beams and -- they've fixed their eyes, across the board. it's a good idea to get people thinking about it. incentivize them to come up with better ideas and those would be turned into consumer
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the call is free. the information is free. the consultation is free. why wait? call now. the safety of gulf coast seafood is pitting two faxes of scientists against each other today. one set is hired by a new orleans law firm disputes the government testing that insists seafood is safe to eat. they say their own testing reveals high levels of hydrocarbons associated with liver damage. so far their employer has filed $75 million in damage claims. environmental lawyer bob mcgee joins me now. he's challenging bp as well on the safety of that seafood. what led you to do any of the testing here? >> well, we knew right off the back that victims have the burden of proof.
what we do when we bring claims either in the courtroom or to bp is to establish something bad is happening. we hired people and began sampling and analyzing locations from louisiana all the way down to miami beach. >> we reached out to the seafood industry today for an interview as well, bob, but, of course, it's the holidays, and nobody got back to us. but here's what the fda said to msnbc.com. there's no question that gulf seafood coming to market is safe from oil or dispersant residue. the fda says it's tested thousands of samples before issuing the all-cheer. what possibly could your scientists know that the fda scientists don't know? >> it all depends on what you're looking for, contessa. the reality is we have used readily acceptable methods with confirmatory methods to show the
hydrocarbons with bp oil is with seafood in many, many samples. >> so what's your goal here? is your goal to get more claim money for fishermen who won't go back into the water? is your goal to get seafood off the store shelves if it's coming from the gulf coast? >> our goal is two-fold. one is whether the food we're asked to eat are safe. and we know that the testing that we've done show that there are levels that could present risks to consumers. the second thing is we represent hundreds and hundreds of claimants, and it is our goal and our requirement to present proof. we're doing both at the same time. our goal is safe seafood, but to make sure that there is clarity with what's being described to the consuming public and to
it is the dawn of a new age and a new mnetwork this saturda. oprah winfrey's new cable network own willdy pew this weekend. there are a lot of people who are looking at this and wondering is she going to have the midas touch when it comes to cable television. >> yeah. you know, everything that oprah does, it turns to gold. anything she endorses, anything she talks about, everyone wants a piece of. everyone's wondering will it be the same with this network it. it's had false starts.
it was supposed to launch in 2009, 2010. now it's 2011. if you're tuning in to see oprah 24/7 on this channel, you're not going to see that. she's going to be in limited varieties. she's only committed to 70 hours a year. her big interview show she's going to do won't start until fall of 2011. >> what's weird is that a lot of the people who are well known because of oprah, nate berkus and dr. oz and lisa ling, they have jobs that put them somewhere else at this point. are we going to see those friends as well on oen? >> yes. gayle king, lisa ling. dr. laura who does sex therapy will be on her show. suze orman, dr. fill. shows that you would expect on this type of network, a show about decluttering your house, a cook show, a show about kids
kidnapping their parents. nothing's going to be tabloidy. there's going to be a sarah ferguson show. >> i read that they weren't going to pay that much attention to ratings sort of. >> they're sort of downplaying it. they don't really expect things to take off until 2013. she says i want people to tune in. she's not going to look at individual shows. people are going to say, yeah, there's a new network, there will probably be missteps but it's a big picture. >> very, very interesting. we'll see how it goes from there. thank you. in fact, melissa sent a picture of her parents' snowy streets in virginia. hey, that eat from new york city. kelly sent a picture of her
workplace, doesn't it look a lot like christmas? okay. now, this is not virginia. rob in sea cliff, new york, took a picture of the artwork that the storm left on his kitchen window. okay. now virginia? no virginia. no virginia. there is no santa claus. i mean there is a santa claus, but no picture. okay, if you want to send me your pictures, you can do so, facebook, twitter, e-mail. that wraps up this hour. i'm contessa brewer. of course, every day at noon eastern, 9:00 a.m. out west. up next, andrea mitchell reports. be right back.